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LGBT+ History Month

As an institution, at the core of our mission is a belief that diversity in all its forms — national, cultural, socio-economic, political, sexual, physical, neurological, and experiential — is the very heart of creative endeavour, enabling us to see the world differently, and create new possibilities for a more equal and sustainable future. As LGBT+ history month comes to an end our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr, looks back to his undergraduate degree show in response to Section 28:

“I am 24 in this photograph, and Section 28 was part of the context in which I found the courage to develop a practice as a queer artist, which developed into being a practitioner of queer theories and histories, and some years later finding myself a queer VC.”

“This is a section of an artwork which introduced my undergraduate degree show at Exeter College of Art and Design in 1990. The full piece — a series of laminated photographs — was displayed along the corridor ahead of entering the main body of my show. The photographs were interspersed with extracts from clauses of UK legislation related to gay practices, pleasures, and identities.

Through the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS, beyond the hostility of Section 28, to the incredibly creative, critical, and political reactions and responses, the most profound joy of my life is my “pretended family relationship” — my civil partner, our adopted son, and all the others that, by way of affiliation and choice, make up our family today. The most profound irony is that repression creates — through our responses and reactions — joy, beauty, and new possibilities.”

Find out more about LGBT+ History Month on the Stonewall UK website, which has a wide range of resources for students and educators.

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Norwich University of the Arts
Francis House
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